By Saul Barrett, 6.2
Yasmina Reza’s Art at the Old Vic presents us with three friends brought together and ultimately torn apart by one friend, Serge, and his costly purchase of a completely white painting.
As an originally lofty disagreement spirals into a malicious attack on one another, Matthew Warchus’ production astutely observes and satirises the way we talk about art. Reza is known for taking middle class and polite individuals and stripping them of all inhibition or kindness as their world comes crumbling around them. We see this in Rufus Sewell’s pretentious and stern character of Serge who is lambasted by the older traditionalist, Mark, while Tim Key’s fantastically vulnerable peacemaker Yvan is repeatedly made the punch-bag upon which they direct their frustrations, along with being denounced as ‘uncultured’.
Tall white walls evoke the sparse elegance of the Parisian setting while three chairs around a coffee table function as the domestic boxing ring around which the trio hurl their long-held resentment towards one another. Along with the well-choreographed dance between niceties and menace of the three actors the real triumph of the evening is Reza’s script which finds humour and sadness while making intriguing statements about art as well as using the subject as a vehicle for exorcising the anxieties and grievances of middle aged friends.
Last Wednesday, 22 sixth form classicists had the pleasure of watching Sophocles’ Electra, showing at the Old Vic in London. Frank McGuinness’ version of this age old tragedy has been showered with critical acclaim, with both the Daily Telegraph and The Independent offering up five star reviews of the well renowned Kristin Scott Thomas and Olivier Award winning actor Jack Lowden. All of us found the play to be absolutely fantastic, with a very emotionally charged story line. In fact, it was so emotionally charged, that we all came out feeling fairly drained. This became very apparent when, upon our arrival at school, fellow students and members of staff described us as ‘subdued’ and ‘exhausted’. Whilst this initially may be thought of as a negative idea, the opposite is true. We found our end state to be the perfect example of how much this play reaches out to the viewer, making the theatre active for all parties involved. All in all, the resounding consensus is that Electra is a must-see for anybody with an interest in theatre.
By Cameron Cross, 6.1
Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.